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I am sick and not sure how to utilize the American health care system. What do I do?

As a student, you have access to on-campus health care at Columbia Health Services. Columbia Health consists of three primary areas; Medical Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, and Disability Services. When you enroll, you are automatically assigned a Primary Care Provider (PCP). Your PCP is a physician or nurse with whom you schedule routine appointments (like an annual physical exam). It is important to get to know your PCP – s/he will be an important resource for you during your time at Columbia – even if you are not sick. Most appointments can be scheduled online using the Columbia Health website.

If you are ever feeling sick, you can call Columbia Health at (212) 854-7426 during office hours and schedule an appointment or speak with a health care provider. If you have an urgent care need, you can also stop by the Urgent Care Center during office hours in John Jay Hall to be seen without an appointment. If you require emergency medical care, please speak with your Resident Assistant (RA) or Public Safety in your residence hall lobby. You can also call Columbia Public Safety directly at (212) 854-5555 or 911 for emergencies. Use 911 for emergencies when off-campus.

When Columbia Health Services is closed, you should speak with your RA or Columbia Public Safety. You will get connected to an on-call physician who can help you decide whether you should seek care in the hospital emergency room or Columbia Health the next day. If you are ever taken to the hospital for emergency care, a Columbia staff member will be notified and will accompany you to the hospital for support.

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